Sergeant Pete Nicholson
14 Wing Photojournalist
The streets and back roads in and around the Greenwood, Nova Scotia area are being well travelled by an elite and dedicated group of personnel from 14 Wing. They are the 14 Wing Nijmegen team led by Captain (Capt) Craig Little, from 404 Long Range Patrol and Training Squadron. These privileged Canadian Forces men and women are nearing the mid point of their training for this years Nijmegen March in Holland which will take place July 19 – 22, 2011.
The Nijmegen March also known as Vierdaagse (Dutch for "Four day Event") is the largest marching event in the world. This event is the 95th edition of the four-day, 160 km march, which is a grueling examination of individual physical fitness and endurance. The Nijmegen March is not just military orientated as it is comprised of civilian groups, police/emergency services, military and cadet teams from all over the world.
The 14 Wing Nijmegen Team started training April 1st of this year with thirty-four participants and as of April 27 they are now down to eighteen. This attrition is mainly due to operational deployments and injury. When they are ready to depart for Holland there will be eleven team members. Each person tries to train three to four days per week, consisting of strength and weights, yoga and of course marching! By the end, each marcher will have walked approximately 720 kilometers with a 10 kilogram rucksack in preparation for this event.
Weather has not proven to be a factor as of yet, but the temperatures in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia are warming up. As they march along the roads of Greenwood and Kingston area, many Valley residents show their support by waving to them or honking their horns and cheering, especially on Saturdays, as they pass by. This display further encourages the team to accomplish the Nijmegen March.
At the time of writing this article, the team members were; Capt Craig Lewis, team second in Command; Capt Marc Beaumier, Capt Etienne Gignac- Bouchard, Master Corporal Andy Bartlett, Leading Seaman Steve Collins, Corporal (Cpl) Gary Harbers, Cpl Robert Hulan, Cpl Peter Jefferson, Cpl Matthew Pond, Cpl Vera Wells, Cpl Shanna Wheaton, Cpl Michelle White, Cpl Daniel Wiswell, Private (Pte) Jeffery Clarke, Pte Victoria Cross, Pte Brian Mann and Pte Richard Morrison.
Dedication and persistence